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In compliance with the United States Environmental Protection Agency's (USEPA) Administrative Order (AO) the City of Austin recently completed Sewer System Evaluation Surveys (SSES) on 40% of the Utility's 2,656 miles of sanitary sewers. The SSES recommendations included approximately 75 capital improvement projects (CIP). The Austin Clean Water Program began evaluating and coordinating the construction sequencing with projects from other City departments, Travis County, and Texas DOT. The results were evident that the City could be clogged with construction if the original AO basin deadlines were to be met. The AO established deadlines for improvements to eliminate Sanitary Sewer Overflows (SSO) for each of the three basins in the Utility service area (Crosstown, complete by September 30, 2005; Onion Creek, complete by September 30, 2006; and Govalle, complete by September 30, 2007) along with a final deadline for achieving compliance of December 31, 2007. Given the tight AO schedules for each basin and the volume of CIP projects in each basin, the Utility realized the need to evaluate the CIP construction sequencing to minimize the social and cost impacts on the residents and businesses. The City proposed and successfully demonstrated to the USEPA an alternative schedule that met the AO final deadline and minimized overall socio-economic impacts to the ratepayers. This paper describes the impacts and the subsequent actions pursued to minimize the socio-economic impacts and hopes to provide a lessons learned discussion with other Collection System managers.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2005

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